Why won't Blob recognize my phone, or won't index all its content?
As a general rule, Blob will see what Windows will see on the phone. There could be multiple reasons why Windows or Blob won’t detect all the content on your phone:
- The phone may connect to “Charge Only”: Many phones will default to charging only when you connect them to a PC’s USB port – they won’t do any data exchange with the PC in this mode. This is a phone manufacturer/software decision. In some cases, this may be because you are using a “charging only” USB cable – such a cable cannot transfer any data between the phone and the PC.
- The phone may restrict what the PC can see: A phone has a choice to connect to the PC as a “PTP Device” (a Picture Transfer Protocol compliant device), an “MTP Device” (a Media Transfer Protocol comlpliant device) or as a “Mass Storage Device”. A phone that connects as a PTP device will only show the PC photos, an MTP device will only show media (typically just music) and a mass storage device should show all files on the phone. Again, this is a decision the phone makes, not the PC. You may be able to change how the phone connects – typically by going into the phone’s settings and finding the USB connection setting (sometimes this is buried under “Developer Options”).
- You may need to install phone-specific drivers on the PC: Sometimes, a phone manufacturer will require you to install a phone-specific driver on the PC before it can detect the phone. The driver may be available on the phone maker’s website, and may even be included on the phone itself. We’ve even seen phones that connect to a PC that does not have phone-specific drivers installed as a “mass storage” device that contains just the drivers you need to install on the PC. Once you copy over and install the drivers on the PC and reconnect the phone, it now shows the rest of the files to the PC.
- The phone may be busy: A phone will only allow a single reader or writer from the PC to access it at any given time. If Windows (File Manager/Explorer) is accessing the phone, Blob will be denied access. You can terminate the Windows (or other) process that is accessing your phone and retry.
Please note that enabling “USB Debugging” on the phone is not needed to allow the PC to see a phone’s content.
Why won't Blob see all my email folders or messages?
There are two separate email protocols to fetch email information: IMAP and POP (Blob supports both). IMAP is the newer and more advanced protocol, so it is the preferred choice. The older POP email protocol does not support email folders at all – it only has the concept on an “Inbox” email folder. Web based email providers decide which protocol they will support – some do one or the other and some support both IMAP and POP. If your email provider supports POP only, you will not be able to see your other email folders at this email account via Blob. If your email provider supports IMAP, you should use that instead.
If your problem in specific to not being able to see sent email in the “Sent” folder, this may be because a separate setting controls this. When you send an email message using Blob, it will not automatically CC it to you and it will not manually copy it to the “Sent” folder. Many (most) email providers will automatically copy a sent message to the “Sent” folder, but some email providers have a separate setting that you have to explicitly enable for this to happen. Please check your email provider’s settings if this is the case. If this problem occurs because your email provider only supports POP, you will have to explicitly CC yourself on any outgoing message you want to save in your account too.
Why do I get insecure connection warnings from my account provider (e.g. Google)?
If you get a warning message that the connection to your email, calendar or cloud storage account is insecure, this is because your computer does not have Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.5 installed. Microsoft Windows cannot support the more secure TLS version 1.2 (and v1.1) connections without this installed. Updates to Microsoft .NET Framework are available as part of Windows Updates, or directly at the Microsoft website. Once you install Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.5, Blob will automatically start making TLS v1.2 connections to access accounts that support it – you do not need to change any setting.
How can I view the errors encountered while trying to access a Data Source?
Blob logs errors encountered while trying to access a Data Source in a file called “Activity.Log”. Transient errors are surprisingly common – the network may be temporarily unavailable; the remote server may be temporarily over-subscribed and not respond in time; a local portable device (e.g. phone, camera) may be busy or locked by your anti-virus software or the Windows File Manager or too many applications may be trying to access the index files on your computer at the same time. A permanent error may be “normal” and expected – the current logged-in user may not have permissions to access specific files or folders; you may have entered the wrong password etc.
To view the “Activity.Log” file, click on the “Help/About” button (the “?” button in the top menu).
Click on the “Dashboard” button to open the Blob Dashboard.
Once the Dashboard opens, click on the “Detailed Log” button at the bottom of the screen.
The detailed log will open in the default app that you use to open text files (typically Notepad).
Blob will generally retry operations that failed, so you don’t necessarily need to worry about the errors logged here. However, if you see persistent errors that prevent access to a specific Data Source, these errors can help identify the problem. The errors will be removed to trim the activity log file size when it gets too large.
You can tell Blob to log more information (e.g. warnings and informational messages too, not just the errors) for a specific Data Source – see “How can I control the indexing process?“.
I added a new Data Source but Blob not show its contents. Why?
When you add a new Data Source, a background process (called Cataloger.exe) will start to index it. This can take a few minutes to several hours, and Blob will show you partial contents as it works. If it has been some time since you added the Data Source and you still see do not see even partial contents when you double-click on it, check the following:
- For all remote accounts: Authentication may have failed or Blob may have been blocked as a safety precaution. When you add a protected Data Source, you should be prompted to authenticate with it. If this authentication fails (e.g. due to an incorrect password), you will not see any content till Blob gets around to checking the Data Source again for content update. You can force a manual check for content updates by selecting the Data Source, right-clicking it to see the menu and selecting “Check For Content Updates” (see “How often are my Data Sources indexed?”). Blob will try to authenticate you again with the remote Data Source. If Blob has been blocked by the account vendor (e.g. Google) as a safety precaution, you will have to log into your account using a web browser and approve access to Blob.
- For email accounts:
- IMAP and POP3 may both be disabled: For Blob or any other non-browser app to access your email, your email account has to enable either IMAP or POP3 email access protocols. Some email providers support both IMAP and POP3, some support only one of the two protocols. If your email server supports both, you should enable and use IMAP since it is a newer and far better email access protocol – POP3 only supports a single “Inbox” folder and does not support many useful capabilities like moving email, marking them read/unread etc. Some email providers automatically enable IMAP and/or POP3, but many web based email providers (e.g. Google Gmail, Microsoft Hotmail/Live mail) disable them by default and require you to explicitly enable them. To enable this, you have to log into your email account using a web browser, navigate to the “Settings” section and find and enable either IMAP or POP3 (IMAP is preferred if it is supported). When you add an email Data Source to Blob, it will tell you which one of IMAP or POP3 needs to be enabled. Please enable the correct protocol (e.g. if IMAP needs to be enabled, enabling POP3 will not work and vice-versa) before you add the Data Source, else Blob will not be able to access it.
- You may need to access geographically specific servers: Blob has built-in knowledge of server names in USA. Thus, the default names for the email, cloud storage and calendar servers at Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo etc. are set to their server name in USA. These server names should just work from non-USA geographical locations too, if their vendor automatically redirects you to the geographically specific server for your country/region as required. If this does not happen, you will have to tell Blob about the correct server name for your country/region. To do this, follow the procedure listed at “How can I add an email Data Source not already listed?”.
- For Faceboook, the “Facebook Platform” may be disabled or Blob may be blocked: Facebook requires you to enable the “Facebook Platform” before any 3rd party application can access your account. To enable this, log into your Facebook account using a web browser, navigate to the “Settings” section and enable the Facebook Platform. Once this is done, you will also need to specifically allow Blob to access your account – Blob will prompt you for this when it tries to index your Facebook account.
- For pluggable portable devices, the device may be busy: when you plug in a device like a phone, camera etc., the Windows File Manager or your anti-virus software may immediately try to scan its contents. If Blob tries to access the device at the same time, it may be denied access to it. You may have to wait till the device becomes available again, and you may need to issue a manual “Check For Content Updates”. To do this, select the portable device in the left pane, right-click on it to open the menu and click on “Check For Content Updates” (see “How often are my Data Sources indexed?”).
- If problems still persist, check the detailed log: you can check the log file where Blob logs all error details – see “How can I view the errors encountered while trying to access a Data Source?”. The log may contain additional information that may show you what is going wrong. If needed, you can tell Blob to log more verbose information specifically for the Data Source that you are having trouble with – see the “How much information should be logged when indexing” section of “How can I control the indexing process?”.
If you still cannot identify the problem, please send us a support request.
Blob does not show me new or modified content or still shows me deleted content. How do I fix this?
Blob will display what’s in its index files, so if you see outdated content the most likely reason is that Blob’s index files are stale. Try the following:
- Reload the index files: Blob automatically reloads index files when they change (e.g. as a result of an incremental check for content updates). However, sometimes this may fail if too many background processes are accessing or updating the index files. To manually re-load the index files for a Data Source, select it, right click on it to see its menu and click on “Show Details”.
Note that this will fix the problem only if the index files were up-to-date but just not loaded into Blob.
- Check for content updates manually: It is possible that the Data Source was changed after the last time Blob checked/indexed it. To force a manual check for content updates, select the Data Source, right-click on it to see its menu and click on “Check For Content Updates”.
- Make sure incremental content checks are enabled and working: Blob will not check for new or modified content at a Data Source unless this is enabled. Make sure this is enabled – see “How often are my Data Sources indexed?”. Also make sure that Blob’s attempts to check for content updates are actually succeeding. You should be able to see if Blob is running into persistent errors by checking the detailed error log as described in “How can I view the errors encountered while trying to access a Data Source?”.
- Check for content updates more often: If a Data Source is showing stale content too often, you may need to tell Blob to check it for content updates more often – see “How often are my Data Sources indexed?”.
- Remove and add the Data Source again: this is an extreme step and you should do this only if nothing else works, since it will re-index the entire Data Source again! To remove a Data Source from Blob, select it, right-click on it to see its menu and click on the “Remove” menu choice. To add back the Data Source, see “How do I tell Blob to index a Data Source?”.
You may wish to add a seconds instance of the affected Data Source first to make sure this works before removing the stale old instance. This may also help you re-create any backup tasks you may have set up for the old instance.
I keep getting prompted for my password. How do I reduce these prompts?
You may be prompted to authenticate with a protected Data Source each time Blob needs to access it. This can happen when Blob is checking it for content updates or running a backup or synchronize task – see “How often will I be prompted for passwords?”. You can reduce the frequency of prompts in the following ways:
- For Facebook, reduce the period between checks for content updates: Facebook supports the OAuth authentication method, where you log into your Facebook account directly at their servers and Blob just gets a temporary access token that expires in 90 minutes (this value depends on Facebook and can change). Once the temporary access token expires, Blob has to prompt you to log in again to access Facebook. However, if Blob accesses your Facebook account before the 90 minute token expiry, Facebook automatically renews Blob’s access permissions and Blob won’t have to prompt you to log in and approve access. Thus, if you set your Facebook account to be checked for content updates periodically every less-than-90-minutes, you may see fewer prompts to log in and approve access.
Many other remote Data Sources (e.g. all Google accounts, Yahoo mail, Microsoft OneDrive etc.) also use the OAuth authentication mechanism but don’t need this work-around. This is because currently they all provide a mechanism for Blob to renew temporary account access permissions directly with their servers without prompting you to log in again.
My email/calendar/cloud storage provider locked my account or warned me of excessive use. What can I do?
Vendors that allow you to create free accounts at their servers for email, calendar and cloud storage (e.g. Google, Microsoft, Apple…) generally restrict how many times you can access your accounts on their server per hour, day etc. If you exceed the specified limits, your account may get locked or you may get “rate limit exceeded” errors from the provider (the exact wordings and frequency of these messages varies with the vendor). If you see such errors, you should generally tell Blob to check your Data Source for content updates less frequently or reduce how often the Data Source needs to be accessed to run backup/synchronize tasks.
Sometimes, vendors also monitor your account access patterns and may block your account as a safety precaution when Blob accesses it on your behalf. This typically happens the first few times Blob accesses it and you may have to tell the vendor that you approve of Blob’s access to your account.
My search did not return expected results. Why?
Blob returns search results from its index files, so incomplete search results are usually due to stale or inaccessible index files. Check the following:
- Index files may be stale: If you set a Data Source to be checked for content updates manually or very infrequently, the index files may be stale. You can either set them to be incrementally re-indexed automatically, or manually check for content updates – see “Blob does not show me new or modified content or still shows me deleted content. How do I fix this?”.
- Index files may be inaccessible: In rare cases, the index files may be up to date but are temporarily inaccessible because too many applications are trying to access them or because your anti-virus software has locked them. In most cases, re-running the search should fix this problem.
- For complex searches, you may be issuing an incorrect search: Blob allows you to issue arbitrarily complex searches where multiple search criteria are combined together using “AND” and “OR” operators. If you issue a complex search with both operators, you may actually be searching for something other than what you expect. Try a simpler search to see if that finds your content.
- You may be using an unsupported content based search: Searching for documents based on their contents is only supported for files that are on your local hard disk (C:\, D:\…), and this requires Windows Search to be enabled. You will not see documents in your search results if you are searching based exclusively on their content, and the files are located on remote email or cloud storage accounts. See “Is content based searching supported?”.
I get strange “Unhandled Exception” errors and Blob crashes. How can I resolve them?
Some errors are transient and will go away if you stop and restart Blob. For example, “out of memory” errors indicate Blob did not get required memory from Windows. This could be because you have too many applications running currently. Simply closing Blob (or some other un-needed application) will free up memory and Blob might work if you just restart it. If the error does not go away after restarting Blob, the most likely cause is that your system does not have the latest updates from Microsoft. If you have just upgraded to a newer version of Windows (e.g. from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10), please make sure that all updates corresponding to the new Windows version have also been installed. Blob requires Microsoft .NET framework version 4.0 or higher to be installed (See “What are the minimum system requirements for Blob?”). Microsoft has released several versions of Windows.NET greater than version 4.0, and recommends that you upgrade to the latest released version. You can update your Windows.NET version by accepting all “recommended” updates from “Windows Update” or by searching for “Windows .NET framework” at Microsoft’s web site and installing it manually. Installing a Windows.NET framework version higher than 4.0 is not strictly required for Blob to work, but will often fix unexpected crashes. If you have the latest Windows updates and Windows.NET framework updates and still experience persistent problems, please send us a support request.